How to avoid ‘very’ in Spoken English?

If I ask you, ‘How is the weather in your city/town/country?’ Your immediate response would be, ‘It’s very hot!’ or ‘It’s very cold!’ This is a very common answer indeed! 

While it is not very wrong to use the word ‘very’, very much! However, it sounds very boring after a point in the English language. If you are someone who uses ‘very’ a lot, it’s time you improve your English vocabulary in order to get rid of it! 

Often, people use the word ‘very’ due to the following reasons:

  • Lack of good vocabulary
  • Lazy learners 
  • Lacks fluency in terms of speaking and writing
  • Read in a book or watched in a TV show

Which one are you from the above list? Well, the reason can be any the good news is, we are looking at ways to avoid it! 

Why do we use the word ‘very’ in English?  

We use words like ‘very’, ‘really’ to intensify something. 

The word ‘Very’ in the English language is used before adverbs and adjectives. 

We use very before adverbs and adjectives to add emphasis. It means ‘to a great degree’:

For example: 

  • He drives very fast.
  • The letter came very quickly.

The problem lies when we overuse it. As rightly said by Florence King, ‘’‘Very’ is the most useless word in the English language and can always come out. More than useless, it is treacherous because it invariably weakens what it is intended to strengthen.”.

Florence King

 If you are constantly using the word ‘very’ in spoken or written English it loses its meaning and sounds dull ( an alternate word to very boring). The moment you start to avoid it, you seem to adapt to conversations effortlessly in your journey to improve English.

Below is a list of words to use instead of ‘very’ in your daily English practice.

Words to use instead of ‘very’:

When you are talking about weather, 

Instead of saying: 

It’s very hot today. Or 

It’s very cold outside. 

Try saying:

It’s boiling today!

It’s freezing outside

When you win an award, 

Instead of saying: 

I’m very happy. 

Try saying:

I’m thrilled!

When you went overboard with your workout: 

Instead of saying: 

I’m very tired from exercising in the gym today!

Try saying:

I’m exhausted from exercising in the gym today.

When you lose your passport ( I hope you don’t!), 

Instead of saying: 

I’m very worried! I can’t find my passport!

Try saying:

I’m distressed. I can’t find my passport!

When things don’t go as per your plan,

Instead of saying: 

I’m very sad. I did not get admission in my desired college. 

Try saying:

I’m low. I didn’t get admission in my desired college. 

When you watch a comedy movie, 

Instead of saying: 

This movie is very funny!

Try saying:

This movie is hilarious!

When your sibling irritates you the next time,

Instead of saying: 

I’m very angry. My sister always takes my stuff without my permission. 

Try saying:

I’m furious! My sister always takes my stuff without my permission. 

When someone asks you speak in front of a large crowd, 

Instead of saying: 

I’m very shy. I can’t speak in front of many people.

Try saying:

I’m bashful. I can’t speak in front of many people.

When you don’t understand that Maths problem,

Instead of saying: 

I’m very confused. I can’t solve this sum.

Try saying:

I’m bewildered. I can’t solve this sum.

When you can’t find water to drink,

Instead of saying: 

I’m very thirsty.I forgot to bring my water bottle today. 

Try saying:

I’m parched. I forgot to bring my water bottle today. 

When you are going on that much needed vacation with your besties,

Instead of saying: 

I’m very excited to go on this trip with friends after two years. 

Try saying:

I’m eager to go on this trip with friends after two years.

And finally, when you are uncomfortable speaking in English during an interview, 

Instead of saying: 

I’m very nervous to attend the interview tomorrow. I’m not fluent in spoken English. 

Try saying:

I’m apprehensive to attend the interview tomorrow. I’m not fluent in spoken English.

Although there are many words with ‘very’ that people use during conversations, these are a few alternatives that you can use in order to avoid it to improve your Spoken English. Learning all of it can seem daunting at first. Below are listed some of the ways you can try and avoid it. 

Tips to avoid using ‘Very’: 

  • Note down all the words discussed here and start using them in daily spoken English conversations. 
  • For one week, try and notice in your daily conversations in English with which words you use ‘very’ and note them down. 
  • Look for synonyms with the words that you use ‘very’
  • Try using the new vocab in your daily conversation with your friend or in your spoken english classes like enguru
  • Make a thumb rule consciously to avoid ‘very’ in spoken and written English.
  • Try describing things around you in general like weather, house, etc without using the word ‘very’
  • Make it a daily practice to find out one word instead of ‘very’ and use it in your conversation. 

I hope with this it will be very easy oops! It will be an effortless journey to improve your vocabulary and make your spoken English sound more powerful. 

Happy learning!

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